After making his way from Ukraine, through Europe, and now to the United States, Maksym found stability, support, and a quality education at Catholic Memorial.
Is a 2011 minivan with a door that barely opens and persistent check engine light worth keeping, or is it time to get a new car? In my mind, it still runs and therefore is more than adequate for our needs. My wife is of a different opinion. What better way to settle this dispute than to put it out for the world to decide?
Admittedly, the issue is frivolous and to even engage in such a discussion is an extraordinary luxury. With the average grocery store bill up by double-digit percentages over the last 18 months, gas still over $3 a gallon, and entering what is anticipated to be one of the most expensive heating seasons in recent memory, arguing over upgrading a functioning car is silly
What is not silly is the real and persistent issues facing families at the economic margins. Recently, the Catholic Schools Foundation (CSF) Emergency Fund has been inundated with requests for help as hard-working families struggle to make ends meet. This is not about folks looking for a handout, this is about people working hard to give their children a better life and yet still having trouble making it work. It is a privilege to be able to respond to these situations and use the resources entrusted to CSF by donors to make a direct and immediate impact in the lives of at-risk students and families.
In many cases, the CSF Emergency Fund is the final option after families have expended every effort and resource to make their situation work. In other cases, families are thrust into crisis: the sudden death of a parent, eviction, fire, or other emergent situation, such as the relocation of refugees from the invasion in Ukraine to the Boston area. A similar influx of refugees occurred after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. In 2010, CSF responded; 12 years later, CSF is compelled to respond again.
With a leadership gift from the Mosakowski Family Foundation, CSF has the ability to immediately respond to the needs of students displaced by the war in Ukraine seeking to enroll in Catholic schools across the Archdiocese of Boston. In addition to a $100,000 gift directly supporting refugees from Ukraine, the Mosakowski Family Foundation pledged an additional $50,000 as a match to encourage others to support CSF's Emergency Fund. CSF must respond to this challenge and needs the help of generous donors to do so.
Fretting about a decision to upgrade the car or not demonstrates my inability to even begin to understand the pain and stress of fleeing from one's own home. For students like Maksym Lebedenko, 15, dealing with this stress is their reality every day. After making his way from Ukraine, through Europe, and now to the United States, Maksym found stability, support, and a quality education at Catholic Memorial. Thanks to an Emergency Fund grant from CSF, he now has a community at Catholic Memorial, he is loved, and most importantly, he has hope. Maksym is just one of many Ukrainian refugees CSF is supporting, and there are more refugees and others who are struggling and in need of assistance.
The dispute is settled: stressing about upgrading a car is a trivial problem compared to the real struggles faced by so many people each day. Thanks to the generosity of CSF donors, the CSF Emergency Fund is positioned to respond to these students in crisis, but the need is still greater than the resources available. Consider joining CSF in bringing hope and stability to these students and families. For more information or to support this effort, please check out www.csfboston.org/ukraine.
- Michael B. Reardon is executive director of the Catholic Schools Foundation, www.CSFBoston.org.
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